Description of our original project


ATrA meets the third priority of the EU program for research Horizon 2020 (Challenges of Society) and aims to an important methodological and theoretical contribution to one of the currently central issues in the field of integration and cooperation to development: the safeguard of identity.

Our work will mainly focus on areas of transition in East Africa and on the contrast between local and global dimensions of modernity. We see this study as a premise for the defense of human rights and as a necessary step towards a real participation of local communities to an economical renewal of developing countries.

Cultural and ethnic identity is nowadays one of the most debated questions on an international level. Even though we admit that a prototypical X identity is characteristic of a human group, we also must admit that the farther we move from a paradigmatic centre to its periphery, the more we find ourselves in fuzzy areas, which we can call "of transition". However this is evident in history, in terms of methodological reasonableness, we still lack coherent and comparable general studies on the dynamics governing such a phenomenon. More, even though we are quite sure to know what a linguistic or a cultural area is, at the same time, we cannot deny that the two things do never perfectly coincide, at least in terms of ethnicity or geographical borders, and therefore, in these contexts, transition becomes a scientific pivotal issue.

In East Africa the constant re-shaping and re-negotiation of identity, from a cultural centre to its periphery, in a continuous contact of great cultures, still alive or extinct (Egypt, Kerma, Meroe, Aksum, the Mediterranean, Greek, Roman and Byzantine world) intertwined with a variety of local and peripheral traditions in a plurality of very different social and ecological settings is evident

For this reason we have chosen this region as the main object of our study and we have decided to work in mixed teams, in which the collaboration of experts of the different disciplines of the Human Sciences can grant for a real interdisciplinary approach, which should lead to a more complete interpretation of complex and interconnected facts. In a coherent frame in terms of issues and methodology, are set the case studies of the single local unit, which will finally be compared and analyzed together with the others, in order to obtain a general interpretation of the phenomenon of transition itself.


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